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FHFA Announces Detroit HARP Outreach Event

Director Watt and Community Leaders Will Discuss HARP and the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9/18/2014

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it will hold its third event to reach homeowners who could benefit from the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) on October 2, 2014 in Detroit.  FHFA Director Mel Watt will join housing experts and community leaders for a town hall-style meeting at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library.  The event will highlight the benefits of HARP and provide tools to help community leaders reach the more than 27,000 Detroit area residents still eligible to benefit substantially from a HARP refinance.  These borrowers could save more than $1,800 per year by refinancing.

FHFA officials and panelists will also discuss FHFA’s Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI), a pilot program designed to stabilize neighborhoods hardest hit by the housing crisis.  Announced earlier this year, NSI entails both pre- and post-foreclosure strategies for assisting borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.  Detroit is the first pilot city for this new initiative, which involves working with local nonprofits to find solutions that maximize payment relief and home retention.

“We know that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to helping homeowners and neighborhoods recover,” said Director Watt.   “Our goal is to get the word out about HARP to borrowers who are current but underwater, and help borrowers who are either delinquent or at risk of losing their home recognize that they too have options.  In Detroit, local leaders and community groups are already doing a tremendous amount of work and we applaud their proactive approach.  Our event will allow us to coordinate more directly with those trusted sources as we move forward,” Watt said.
 
Director Watt will kick off the event and Sandra Thompson, FHFA’s Deputy Director for Housing Mission and Goals, will moderate a panel discussion that will include representatives from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Quicken Loans, and a representative from the National Community Stabilization Trust, a national non-profit organization that FHFA has partnered with for the NSI program.

According to FHFA’s interactive online map, the estimated number of eligible borrowers in the Detroit metropolitan statistical area who would benefit from HARP (so called “in-the-money” borrowers) is 27,796.   Borrowers are considered “in-the-money” if they meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining balance of  $50,000 or more on their mortgage, have a remaining term on their mortgage of greater than 10 years, and their mortgage interest rate is at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates.  The map and other information about HARP are accessible through HARP.gov.

To be eligible for HARP, homeowners must meet the following criteria:

• Their loan must be either owned or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
• Their mortgage must have been originated on or before May 31, 2009.
• Their current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80 percent.
• They must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months.

FHFA has held HARP outreach events in Chicago and Atlanta, two of the cities with the highest number of eligible borrowers with a financial incentive to refinance. 

FHFA and the Treasury Department introduced HARP in early 2009 as part of the Making Home Affordable program.  As of June 2014, more than 3.1 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP, which is one of the only refinance programs that allows borrowers with little or no equity to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits. 

Link to HARP Toolkit

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​The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.6 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions.

Contacts:

​Corinne Russell (202)649-3032 / Stefanie Johnson (202)649-3030

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